Most people have goals when it comes to working out. For some, they're mental: beat a personal best, complete a half marathon, or just simply feel your strongest, fittest, and happiest self.
For others, motivation is more aesthetic-based. Think improving stomach definition, strengthening your arm muscles, or growing your glutes.
That's right: everyone has an end goal of some kind: each to their own. But, if your motivation is of the latter kind and, more specifically, glute focused, then you're in the right place.
There's a whole load of conflicting information floating around the Internet about how to build a booty. Growing a bigger bum by working out is possible, according to personal trainer Shannon Jewell. But following the wrong advice could actually end up leading you away from your fitness goals.
What are the benefits of building strong glutes?
Fun fact for you: aesthetics aside, having strong glutes promises a heap of health benefits, from overall stability and strength to proper posture, to power. They are, in short, essential for overall health and wellbeing.
Plus, if you find yourself sitting a little more often than usual right now (thanks, quarantine!), it may be more vital than ever to be including booty-focused moves in your weekly workouts.
While it is true you can't "spot" train certain areas to lose weight—rather, it's better to take a more well-rounded approach—you can spot train body parts to build muscle.
Ready to learn how to build a booty? We quizzed Shannon Jewell on the biggest booty building myths. Keep reading for her seven top tips for not only building your glute muscles but further slaying each and every workout. You are so welcome.
How to build a booty: Seven essential top tips
1. Mix up your routine
To build your glutes, Shannon recommends two types of training. Start with compound weight-lifting exercises (deadlifts, squats, lunges, and stiff leg deadlifts) working at a range of 3 to 6 reps. Then moving on to heavier volume work with lighter weights (so bodyweight exercises, or resistance machines and cable exercises in the 12 to 30 rep range).
Why? Because "your glutes are a combination of low and fast-twitch muscle groups. Fast-twitch muscles react and adapt better to heavier compound exercises. Low twitch muscle fibers adapt best adapt with volume and overload working up to failure"
But "working to failure" can effect technique, so make sure the exercise you're doing in these rep ranges is super simple.
2. Bye, bye, cardio, hello, weights
Cardio is not going to build a bigger butt, so if you're hitting the treadmill on an incline, it's more likely to create some levels of muscle wastage if you're on a diet and not getting enough protein in your meals, which is easily done.
Shannon says: "Your body is likely to burn protein during long periods of low-intensity cardio. Avoid this by supplementing with BCAA's (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and only use long periods of cardio for weight loss, rather than booty building."
3. Keep it well rounded
A common myth is that, in learning how to build a booty, you must only do specialist glute exercises, such as straight leg abductors, kickbacks, and hip extensions.
Although these are great exercises to bolt onto the last five to 10 minutes of a workout, most people focus on these small movement patterns and isolating glute exercises in their main session. Remember, all-rounded is best: glute isolation exercises alone are not the way to go.
4. Don't forget your hamstrings
Shannon says that because the hamstrings have three dominant muscles that attach at various points near the glutes, working these muscles hard will also help tone and shape your butt.
Try good mornings, back extensions, and straight leg deadlifts in the gym, and if you're a competent lifter, don't be afraid to go heavy working at 80-90% 1RM at 3 to 5 rep ranges to force muscular adaptation.
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5. You may be resting too much
Between sets, we are all guilty of checking our phones. Shannon says: "Typically you should rest no longer than 1 minute during glute-specific exercises, aiming to work them to fatigue. This is because long periods of recovery between sets will not overload the muscle. The muscle will not lift and become firmer unless your workout creates overload."
"I recommend reducing the rest time between sets to between 30 seconds and no longer than 1 minute for heavy lifts. During the last few sets, you should struggle to complete the desired reps. Exercises such as hip extensions should not only be heavy but also be completed to failure. This means completing as many reps as you can in a set until you can't lift the weight safely."
6. Progress with your weights
To make progress when learning how to build a booty, or growing any muscle, in fact, you've got to challenge it! Shannon says you should aim to increase the weight you lift every two to four weeks, as small increments will avoid injury.
"Machine exercises require less balance and skill and therefore they can be loaded up much heavier, faster. Try and push exercises such as a leg press with heavier weights compared with a walking lunge which requires balance and coordination," she says.
7. Feel that burn
While muscle soreness the next day after a workout can be a pain, Shannon says it's a telltale sign that you're working hard enough. This is because muscle soreness is created by small muscle fiber tears created by lifting weights at the correct intensity (we're sorry in advance if you struggle to sit down the next day). How to build a booty? Sorted.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.